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+86 592 5161466 info@chinamemorytrip.com

13 Days Classic Silk Road Tour (Xian/Urumqi/Turpan/ Dunhuang/Lanzhou)

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The Silk Road, this world-famous ancient trade route, has undergone changes in history. Over the years, the original city buildings have become monuments and courier stations have become bustling cities. Between the old and the new and the prosperous, the Silk Road has become the most beautiful and fascinating route to travel. On this 13-day trip, you’ll explore the most appealing attractions along the Silk Road. You will have plenty of time to tour around these seven cities: Urumqi, Turpan, Dunhuang, Zhangye, Wuwei, Lanzhou and Xi’an. Witness the various historical monuments, amazing works of humanistic art and breathtaking natural landscapes in these historic cities. Experience the warmth and simplicity of the people and taste the local specialties. It’s a journey that will be full of excitement as soon as you come.

Tour Code



13 Days/12 Nights


  • Explore the most appealing attractions along the Silk Road on this 13-day trip
  • Have plenty of time to tour around seven historical cities: Urumqi, Turpan, Dunhuang, Zhangye, Wuwei, Lanzhou and Xi'an
  • Roam around Tianchi Lake, breathing in the fresh air and enjoying the surrounding wonderful scenery
  • Taste a variety of Xinjiang fruits, rice noodles and lamb
  • Witness the various historical monuments, amazing works of humanistic art and breathtaking natural landscapes during the whole trip
  • Comfortable and luxurious 4-star hotels throughout the trip
  • Provide transfers between attractions and professional guides to make your trip hassle-free

Day 1Xian Arrival

Attractions and activities: No

Meal: No

Hotel: Yitel Hotel


Your knowledgeable guide and driver will meet you outside of the airport or railway station. They will transfer you directly to your hotel. You can have a rest in the hotel or go out to stroll around downtown Xian.

Day 2Xi'an- Urumuqi

Hotel: Daluqiao Hotel


Today you will take a flight to Urumqi. (A meal is served on the plane). Upon arrival, your private guide and driver will meet you outside of the airport and transfer you directly to your hotel. The rest of the day is on your own to explore and roam around the city.

Day 3Urumuqi

Attractions and activities: Tianchi Lake; Xinjiang International Bazaar

Meal: BLD

Hotel: Daluqiao Hotel


Today you will take a car ride to admire Tianchi Lake, also named Heavenly Lake. It’s a peaceful alpine lake surrounded by rugged hillsides with snow-capped mountains in the background. The lake’s turquoise blue water was crystal clear, and it was wonderful to walk around the lake, breathing in the fresh air and enjoying the wonderful scenery.

After that, head to visit Xinjiang International Bazaar. The architecture of Xinjiang International Grand Bazaar has a unique Islamic design. It combines culture, shopping and entertainment in one. There are many goods with local ethnic characteristics here. Here you can buy raisins, dried apricots, essential oils and other Xinjiang local specialties, while you can taste a variety of Xinjiang fruits, rice noodles and lamb.

Day 4Urumuqi- Turpan

Attractions and activities: Xinjiang Regional Museum

Meal: BLD

Hotel: Mercure Hotel Turpan Downtown


Today you will take a car ride to visit Xinjiang Regional Museum, A visit to Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, would not be complete without a visit to the Xinjiang s Regional Museum. It is by far the best museum along the Silk Road. One of the museum’s main collections is an exhibition of items related to the Silk Road. This section contains a collection of various silk garments exported during the Middle Ages, as well as artifacts found on the routes of various caravans that once crossed the East Turkestan region.

Later, directly transfer to Turpan. The rest of the day is on your own to explore and roam around the city.

Day 5Turpan

Attractions and activities: Tuyoq Village; Jiaohe Ruins; Karez Well; Sugong Minaret

Meal: BLD

Hotel: Mercure Hotel Turpan Downtown


The first attraction for today is Tuyugou Mazha Village. Located in the Grand Canyon of Tuyugu, the village of Maza, with a history of more than 1,700 years, is known as the “famous village of Chinese history and culture” and is by far the oldest Uyghur village in Xinjiang. Here, the ancient Uyghur traditional folklore is preserved intact. Thus, you can experience the original and exotic culture for yourself.

Then head to Jiaohe Ruins which is the world’s largest, oldest and best-preserved city of native architecture. It is also the most complete preserved urban ruins in China for over 2,000 years. Here, you can learn about the incredible way the city was built, while taking in the breathtaking beauty of the ruined city, the surrounding desert canyons and hills.

After that, Next attraction for today is to visit Karez Well. Karez Well is known as the Four Great Works of Ancient China along with the Great Wall of China, the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal and the Dujiangyan. In order to bring the snowy water from the distant Tianshan Mountains to the town and countryside through the hot Gobi Beach, the hardworking and wise people of the area created the amazing underground water conservancy project.

Lastly, transfer to Sugong Minaret which is the largest surviving pagoda in Xinjiang and the only Islamic-style pagoda among the 100 famous pagodas in China, with a history of over 200 years. There are 15 geometric patterns on the exterior of the tower, which are exquisite.

Day 6Turpan- Dunhuang

Attractions and activities: Echoing Sand Mountain and Crescent Lake; Shazhou Night Market

Meal: BLD

Hotel: Fuguo Hotel


After breakfast, you will take the train to Dunhuang. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to explore the Echoing Sand Mountain and Crescent Lake. Here you can both climb Echoing Sand Mountain overlooking Crescent Lake and watch the desert sunset from the top of the mountain and feel the cool expanse of the Northwest Desert. Crescent Lake is under Echoing Sand Mountain, surrounded by sand dunes, and because of the terrain, the sand does not go down the mountain when the wind blows, but flows up the mountain. That’s why Crescent Lake is never buried in sand and is known as the “Eye of the Desert”.

Then head to Shazhou Night Market. Whenever night falls and the lights come on, tourists and locals from all over the world gather at the illuminated Shazhou Night Market. Most notable are the more than 100 craft stalls lined along the street at the entrance to the market. At the Shazhou Night Market, you can enjoy authentic Dunhuang folklore and various snacks everywhere. The enthusiastic stallholders will also tell you about the many beautiful tales of the Silk Road.

Day 7Duhuang- Jiayuguan

Attractions and activities: Mogao Grottoes

Meal: BLD

Hotel: Jiayuguan Jiugang Hotel


Today you will take a car ride to admire Mogao Grottoes, the world’s largest treasure trove of Buddhist art. Mogao Grottoes was first excavated in 366, and then excavated by more than a dozen dynasties from the 16th to the first dynasty, forming a rich, large-scale cave group. There are 492 existing caves, 45,000 square meters of frescoes, more than 2,400 colorful sculptures, thousands of lotus flower pillars and tiles on the ground. It is a comprehensive art hall composed of architecture, painting and sculpture, and is the world’s largest and most well-preserved treasure house of Buddhist art.

After that, transfer to Jiayuguan.

Day 8Jiayuguan- Zhangye

Attractions and activities: Weijin Tombs; Jiayuguan Pass

Meal: BLD

Hotel: Tianyu International Hotel


Today you will explore Weijin Tombs first which is located on the Great Gobi Beach, about 20 kilometers northeast of Jiayuguan City, where some 1,400 ancient tombs are located. The frescoes in these tombs are rich in content, including agriculture, animal husbandry, hunting, feasting, gaming, carriages, silk bundles, etc., and are known as the “encyclopedia” of the Silk Road. They comprehensively reflect the political, economic, military, cultural, ethnic customs, agricultural and pastoral diplomacy, climate and other social aspects of the Wei and Jin periods.

In the afternoon, head to visit the Jiayuguan Pass which is the world-famous pass at the western end of the Great Wall and one of the most well-preserved passages on the Great Wall. Jiayuguan Pass was also an ancient “Silk Road” transport fortress. The whole building of Jiayuguan is composed of inner city, outer city, city walls and many other parts. The entire city has been built in a majestic manner, with a total area of 33,500 square meters and a height of 10 meters.

After that, you will be transfer to Zhangye.

Day 9Zhangye- Wuwei

Attractions and activities: Giant Buddha Temple; Zhangye Danxia Geological Park

Meal: BLD

Hotel: Jianlong Hotel


Today you will spend the whole day exploring Zhangye. It has a long history, a splendid culture, beautiful natural scenery and a unique human landscape.

The first attraction for today is Giant Buddha Temple. The temple is home to the largest indoor reclining Buddha in the country, the nirvana statue of Buddha Shakyamuni. He sleeps peacefully on a 1.2-meter-high altar in the middle of the main hall, with a body 34.5 meters long, a shoulder width of 7.5 meters, ears of about 4 meters and feet 5.2 meters long. A single middle finger of the Buddha can lie flat on one person, and eight people can sit side by side in the ear, which makes the statue so huge. The Great Buddha Temple is an important group of historical sites on the Silk Road, and it is an iconic building in the historical and cultural city of Zhangye.

After that, head to Zhangye Danxia National Geopark is the best representative of China’s colorful Danxia landforms and the largest Danxia landform in the arid region, with a variety of landform types. The rolling, fiery red ridges, along with the magical folds of colorful peaks, make the park into a sea of rolling fire, with the reputation of “China’s Rainbow Mountains”, and also selected by National Geographic as one of the “Top 10 Geographic Wonders of the World”.

At the end of today’s trip, you will be transferred to City Wuwei.

Day 10Wuwei- Lanzhou

Attractions and activities: Leitai Han Tomb; Tiantishan Grottoes

Meal: BLD

Hotel: Sapphire Hotel


Wuwei was called Liangzhou in ancient times and was the eastern terminus of the western corridor of the river. People started settling here about 5,000 years ago. This is an important node of the Northern Silk Road, and many important archaeological finds have been unearthed in Wuwei.

Today you will firstly visit Leitai Han Tomb, which is an extremely important cultural relic of the Han Dynasty along the Silk Road and is also known as “a rich underground museum”. Leitai Han Tomb is famous for the famed bronze artifact called the Horse-Tread Flying Swallow that was found in this tomb. Because of its exquisite shape, it has now been adopted as a symbol of our country’s tourism industry.

Then head to Tiantishan Grottoes. There are now only three floors of Tiantai Mountain Grottoes and 17 large and small caves. The largest cave is 30 metres high, 19 metres wide and 6 meters deep. Inside the cave is a statue of Sakyamuni, 15 meters high and 10 meters wide. On the left and right sides of the Great Buddha are Manjushri and Pu-Hsien Bodhisattva, the Buddha statues of Guangmu, the Buddha King of the Multi-Measures, and the Buddha statues of Kha Ye and Ananda, which are vividly shaped, majestic and different.

After that, transfer to City Lanzhou.

Day 11Lanzhou

Attractions and activities: Bingling Temple; Yellow River’s Mother Sculpture

Meal: BLD

Hotel: Sapphire Hotel


After breakfast, you will head to visit the Bingling Temple which is located in a small stone mountain 35km southwest of Yongjing County, Gansu Province, and was built in the Western Qin Dynasty (420 AD), more than 1600 years ago. The cave contains the statues and frescoes of the Western Qin Dynasty, carrying the long history of Chinese civilization and its vicissitudes.

In the afternoon, transfer to admire Yellow River’s Mother Sculpture. The Yellow River Mother Sculpture is composed of a “mother” and a “baby boy”. They symbolize the mother of the Yellow River who nurtured the Chinese nation, and the children of China who are happy and thrive. The sculpture is simple in composition and profound in allegory, reflecting the long history and culture of Gansu.

Day 12Lanzhou - Xi'an

Attractions and activities: Ancient City Wall; Shaanxi History Museum; Muslim Street

Meal: BLD

Hotel: Grand Dynasty Culture Hotel


Xi’an is an ancient capital and the eastern starting point of the Silk Road. Xi’an (formerly Chang’an) has been an important transportation hub for travelers to and from China, Central Asia and Arabia, and a cultural link for the coexistence of diverse ethnic and religious groups.

Today you will firstly take a train to Xi’an. Upon arrival, you will explore the Ancient City Wall which is built in 1370.It is the best-preserved and one of the largest ancient military defense systems in the world. During the ancient time, the City Wall functioned as military defense. You can take a stroll on the wall to have an unforgettable experience here.

Then head to The Shanxi History Museum. It is the first large-scale modern national museum in China, which marks a new milestone in the development of museums in China. The museum blends ethnic traditions, local characteristics and the spirit of the times into one. From multiple angles and sides, the rich cultural connotations of historical and cultural relics were revealed to the general audience, showing the vast and profound civilization of the Chinese nation.

The final stop will be the Muslim bazaar, one of the city’s most prosperous areas. There are many affordable boutiques in the market, and a variety of delicious snacks. Have fun there and taste the local snacks.

Day 13Xi’an- Departure

Attractions and activities: Terracotta Warriors; Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Meal: BLD

Hotel: No


The last day of the trip is coming to an end in Xi’an.

After breakfast, you will head to visit the world-famous Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum, known as the “Eighth Wonders of the World. “. The museum, located 30 km east of Xi’an, has an astonishingly high standard of sculpture. Discovered in 1974 by four local farmers while drilling a well, the site is now the most important attraction in Xi’an. The museum includes the largest pits 1,2 and 3 as well as the exhibition hall of Chariots and Horses. It is listed as a World Heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

After that, you will explore the Tang dynasty Big Wild Goose Pagoda, the tower that houses the Buddhist scriptures and statues that Xuanzang brought back to China from ancient India. The whole scenic area includes the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, the Da Ci’en Temple, and the various squares, gardens and other facilities around.

After the tour, make sure you have all your belongings and luggage packed and our guide and driver will drive you to the airport to catch your flight.

Price Includes

  • Domestic flight airfares with tax included: Xi'an- Urumuqi
  • Second class high speed train ticket: Turpan- Duhuang
  • Private air-conditioned vehicle with experienced driver for land transportation
  • Experienced private English-speaking tour guide
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary
  • Accommodation in a double(twin) room with breakfast
  • Entrance fees as listed in the itinerary

Price Excludes

  • International flight/train tickets
  • Personal consumption
  • Tips for the driver and tour guide
  • Any services not mentioned